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Lori Wyman
 
Casting
| Tuesday, 03.05.2019, 11:32 PM |   (8986 views)

Casting


By Lori S. Wyman, CSA


Lori address Self Tapes

By Lori S. Wyman, CSA

I’d like to address self tapes in this article. Self Tapes are the way for actors to gain employment. If you don’t know what you are doing, you will never get a role.

I am currently casting a Hallmark movie. This is the 3rd movie I have cast for them in the past year. There is a certain Hallmark look. Just like when I was casting Bloodline, Ballers, and Burn Notice, there was a special look for those shows as well. I have been watching self tapes all week. As I was watching each self tape I was making notes. With each note I was shaking my head harder and harder. How can an actor submit a self tape without the knowledge of knowing how to do it? So, I decided to let you into my world, so you can see through my eyes and then maybe understand why a self tape works and why it doesn’t.

Let’s start with the actor’s performance itself. The best case scenario is for the actor to be memorized. This way they don’t have to look away at their sides or, worse, their phone. One young lady was holding her cell phone all the way out to the right. She was holding her arm out as long as it would stretch. Each time she needed to look at her lines, which was often, she’d have to look all the way off to her right, which took her right out of the scene. Then there was the actress who was holding her sides down and in front of her. Each time her reader would say her lines, this actress would be looking down, thus taking her completely out of the scene. Please keep in mind you are in the scene when you are speaking, as well as, when your reader it speaking. You don’t “check out” each time the person behind the camera speaks. When you do a self tape, presumably you can do it over and over again until you get it right. Why in the world would you send a self tape looking down, looking away, with glitches in your delivery, or any other number of mistakes?

What about your reader? Some people don’t think this person matters at all. After all they are just a reader behind the camera. Let me tell you, the reader can absolutely make or break you audition. If you are a male and you are professing your love for the person reading behind the camera, it looks like a whole different relationship if the person reading with you is a male instead of a female. How about the woman who was supposed to be reading with her love interest, but instead we heard the voice of a 10 year old boy? The whole scene kind of lost something. If your reader has a heavy accent and is hard to understand, don’t use them. One of our best male actors submitted a self tape on one of our projects. He had recently gotten married and allowed his wife to read with him. Not a good idea as she was not an actress and she was a really bad reader. It completely ruined his audition. My assistant was watching it and her comment was, “Wow, how to shoot yourself in the foot!” It really does make a difference.

What you look like on your self tape matters a lot, too. Hallmark actors are clean cut, well groomed, dressed nicely, pretty smile, nice head of hair, and always pleasant. On the other hand, some of the other shows I mentioned above are more than fine with rough faces, crazy hair or even no hair, facial hair, ratty clothing, and the like. So when I was watching the Hallmark self tapes the other day and one of the actors had a dark, scruffy goatee and mustache, slicked back, greasy looking dark hair and a wrinkled shirt, I couldn’t forward him onto the producer and director to watch. If I did, they would have thought that I didn’t quite get the gist of their look.

What about your online profile? Do you even have one? I use Actor’s Access, but there are a few out there. When I get submissions and I don’t know the actor or I am not sure if they might be right for a role, I will always look up their resume to see what they have already done. It amazes me how many actors have no resume up on their site. Oh sure, they have their special skills and sports that they partake in, but the fact that you water ski, wind surf, bike ride, and the like, does not tell me anything about your acting background. Oftentimes, I will bypass an actor when they have nothing posted on their online profile. My presumption is that if they don’t have a resume up on these online acting sites, that they don’t have a resume to post.

Do you label your self tape correctly? There is actually a specific reason why we ask you to label your self tape. Why, you ask? Because we need to know how to find you in case we need you for this role. We ask you to put your name, agent, and role you’re reading for. These particular specifications are standard. I have seen others ask for your height and your location. There is a reason!! Do not ignore it or cut corners, because if you don’t give the casting director what they want, they may not forward your audition onto the producers and director. Please don’t forget, there are lots and lots of self tapes for each role. You are not the only one. We don’t need your audition, you need us to notice you and then pass you forward.

I often hear that Lori Wyman has her favorites. Guess what? All casting directors have the avorites. What makes you a favorite is by following the directions that the casting director has asked you to do, know your lines when you submit a self tape, and do a great performance free of glitches.

If you can follow just the directions that you have read in this article, you will be so far ahead of the rest of the actors and you would be able to get your self tape viewed, accepted, and passed along to the clients.


 


If you are interested in adding to your resume, please look at www.theorganicactor.com at the calendar page to see the upcoming classes that Lori Wyman and her guests offer.

Lori Wyman is an Award Winning Film and Television Casting Director.

She can be reached at Wycast@aol.co

If you are interested in taking your auditioning skills to the next level, please look at www.theorganicactor.com at the calendar page to see the upcoming classes that Lori Wyman offers.

If you are interested in adding to your resume, please look at www.theorganicactor.com at the calendar page to see the upcoming classes that Lori Wyman offers. 

Lori has been in casting in Florida since 1979. She has been nominated for 5 Artios Awards for projects including “Dexter,” “Pain and Gain,” and “Bloodline,” and has 1 Emmy nomination. She is an Artios Award winner for the acclaimed HBO movie, “Recount.”

Lori's office is located in North Miami Beach, Florida, but she travels all over the Southeast for casting projects. She can e reached at wycast@aol.com


Lori Wyman


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